Relatively common throughout the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region: from East Africa to Tuamoto Islands, north to Ryuku Islands, south to New South Wales. In Australia found in north west shelf region of Western Australia, throughout the Coral Sea and the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland south to below Sydney in New South Wales. Also in Lord Howe Island.
Frequents sandy rubble or hard bottoms around rocky reef, coastal and offshore. Found along reef crests from shallow to moderate depths. Depth 1 - 25 m, usually 1 - 6 m.
Pale body, gold forehead, cheek and eye, short dark edged blue stripe along cheek under eye, and similar oblique marks on operculum and pectoral fin base. Adults usually in pairs stationary in mid water a short distance off the substrate, if approached too closely will retreat to small burrow or crevice in the substrate. Feeds on small benthic invertebrates, fishes, and fish eggs by sifting mouthfuls of sand. Juvenile approximately 50 mm long shown in bottom photograph. Grow to about 18 cm.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.410.
Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=Valenciennea+strigata. Accessed 12/07/18.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. https://fishbase.ca/summary/Valenciennea-strigata.html. Accessed 12/07/18.